December 14, 1941, with the raiders on board the submarine Scirè heads south. Everything is ready for the Alexandria enterprise

(To Marina Militare)

After sailing from La Spezia to Lero (more the previous part of the story), the refueling and repairs in the Greek island, the commander of the submarine Scirè, commander of the corvette Junio ​​Valerio Borghese was impatient to set sail to reach Alexandria in Egypt and start the operational phase of the action.

In Leros, a few hours before departure, the 10 raiders who were supposed to lead the pigs boarded the submarine. The scirè embarked 3, contained in metal cylinders placed on the deck of the boat.

A few minutes after the raiders boarded, the Scirè left its moorings. Navigation, this time, had to be as hidden as possible, emerging only at night to recharge the accumulators, regenerate the air and make astronomical observations to calculate the ship's position. Meanwhile the raiders of the X MAS rested, in view of the mission. On the morning of the 16th, having reached about 30 miles north of Alexandria, the Borghese commander decided to postpone the action for 24 hours. The new date was imposed both by the sea conditions and by the persistent lack of information on the presence of the objectives in port. 

We can see from the words of the same Borghese, reported in the log, the salient passages of the navigation that precedes the undertaking of Alexandria (taken from "Lo Scirè, a submarine ... a man ...", by Luciano Ridolfi).

- 14 December 1941

  • 07.00: the X MAS operators boarded the Scirè: TV Luigi De La Penne and Capo Pal. 3 ^ Emilio Bianchi (SLC crew No. 221); Cap. AN Vincenzo Martellotta and 2 ° C ° Pal. Mario Marino (SLC crew No. 222); Cap. GN Antonio Marceglia and Pal. Spartaco Schergat (SLC 223 crew); 1 ° reserve crew: Lt. DM Luigi Feltrinelli and Pal. Armando Favale; 2 reserve crew: ST doctor Giorgio Spaccarelli and SC Pal. Armando Memoli;
  • 07.20: let go and leave the port.

- 14-15 December: surface and immersion navigation, coordinates calculation through astronomical observation.

- 16 December 1941

  • 01.30: in order not to subject the material and above all the personnel to excessive torment, due to the bad sea conditions I take immersion;
  • 06.05: emergence for astronomical observation
  • 06.25: immersion for hidden navigation. Following the heavy seas and the lack of precise information on the consistency of enemy units in port, I decide to postpone the action from 24 for hours, postponing it from the night between 17 and 18, to the night between 18 and 19 December 1941;

- 17 December

  • 05.05: emergence, astronomical observation. Given the favorable weather conditions I decide the 18 December 1941 action for the evening, hoping to receive, in the meantime, precise information on the presence of ships in port;
  • 06,06: immersion;
  • 06,16: distant explosions;
  • 07,20: to hydrophone engines;
  • 13,20: two series of four distant explosions;
  • 14,00: start navigation approach;
  • 18,00: emergence, charge;
  • 19.06: telegram from Athens gives me confirmation 2 presence targets in port Alessandria;
  • 19,30: tracer bullets on the horizon, assuming they come from Alexandria confirm my right position.

In the next article, respecting the mission calendar over 70 years ago, we will move on to the last phase of the GA3 mission, the attack on enemy ships that will go down in history as the Alexandria company.